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How Do We Receive Salvation From Sin? by Jean Wilund
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If you’ve never trusted in Jesus Christ for your salvation, or even really understood what that means, let me explain. 

But first, we need to understand why we even need salvation.

The Problem

Sin is the problem.

Sin is the heart attitude that says, “God’s not the boss of me. I do as I please.” It sets itself against God basically saying, “I don’t need you. I decide for myself what is good, what is evil, and how I will live my life. I will be my own god.” 

Sin is opposed to God and separates us from Him. 

It started in the beginning of time when Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, met God’s enemy Satan.

Satan was once one of God’s most majestic heavenly beings, but he let pride rise in his heart. He set his sights on taking over God’s position as Ruler and raised an army of like-minded angelic beings to form a coupe. But his plan failed and God threw him out of heaven. (Isaiah 14:13-14, Luke 10:18)

With his heart hardened against God, Satan determined to hurt God any way he could.

He’d already learned he couldn’t go after God physically. But he found an opportunity to hurt God in another way when he saw Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

He’d hurt who God loves. He’d hurt Adam and Eve.

Of course, he surely knew if he physically attacked them, God would protect them. But what if he went after their minds?

Satan determined to tempt Adam and Eve to doubt God’s goodness and His right to rule in their lives. He’d turn them against God. 

The Lie

Satan tempted Adam and Eve to believe the lie that God was withholding good from them when He commanded them not to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because if they did, they’d die. (Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:4-5)

Adam and Eve swallowed Satan’s lie and rebelled against God. They said in their hearts, “God’s not the boss of me. I do as I please.” And they ate the fruit. (Genesis 3:6)

Their rebellion brought sin and death into the world. (Romans 5:12)

Sin is an action that comes out of a heart that has set itself up as God. (James 1:13-15)

Death is separation from God, the One who is Life and the giver of Life. (2 Thessalonians 1:9)

To be clear, the fruit didn’t cause sin and death. It was good. Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God by doing what He’d said not to do brought in sin and death.

We can get mad at Adam and Eve and cry out, “They did it! Not me.” But we would’ve done the same thing. 

The Curse

As a result, man’s innocent nature became a sinful nature and passed down into the hearts of all mankind.

We’re all born with a sin nature. And we’re quick to choose it, too.

Toddler loves to say, “No!” They don’t have to be taught. It’s born in us through our sin nature to rebel against being ruled.

The worst part of all this is that because sin leads to death—separation from God—we’re all condemned to die and spend eternity apart from God in hell.

Hell is a physical place God created for Satan and his demons. (Matthew 25:41) But all who reject Christ as their Lord and Savior will spend eternity out of God’s presence and in hell.

Hell won’t be a kingdom ruled by Satan where anything goes. Satan won’t rule anything, for Satan will be just like them. Dying but never dead, suffering and never saved, forever separated from the Light and the Life. (Revelation 20:10)

That’s a problem. A grave problem.

The Truth

Long before God created us, He knew we’d rebel. But He’d already planned the salvation of His children through His Son, Jesus from before the beginning. (Ephesians 1:4) “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

At just the right time, Jesus came down to earth, lived a perfect life free of all sin, went to the cross, took our sins upon Himself, and died, having paid the full penalty for all sin for all time. (Romans 6:23, Philippians 2:5-11, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 1:4)

It is finished. (John 19:30)

Through Jesus Christ, everyone who repents of their sin and trusts in His work on the cross alone for their salvation receives forgiveness of their sin and eternal life with Him in heaven. (John 3:16)

Not to mention abundant life on earth (John 10:10), which is not to say we won’t have problems. (John 16:33) We’ll have plenty of them, but at the moment of salvation, God gives His Holy Spirit to empower us and comfort us with Christ’s presence, power, and peace even in the worst of times. (Ephesians 1:13)

And God gives us a new nature—a divine nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Peter 1:3-4)

Our sin nature continues to poke up its head like an annoying—and dangerous—serpent, but our new nature always has the power to defeat sin by the power of the Holy Spirit. (I John 4:4, Romans 6:14)

The Salvation and The Life

We all come into this world with the problem of sin. Our bodies may be alive but we are all dead in our sin. And dead men can’t do anything. They certainly can’t save themselves. Or seek after God.

The Bible says no one seeks after God. (Romans 3:11)

Even Adam and Eve didn’t. When they sinned, they didn’t seek after God. They hid. (Genesis 3:8)

God initiated with them. He came and found them. (Genesis 3:9) And He’s still doing the same with His children today. (John 15:16)

Unless the Holy Spirit draws us to God, we will never come on our own. (John 6:44; John 6:65)

We don’t like to admit we’re sinners. We don’t want to appear weak or in need. But repentance is vital. Satan and the demons believe Jesus is exactly who He says He is, but they won’t bow. They won’t repent.

Satan is God’s enemy, and before salvation, we’re enemies of God. (Romans 5:10)

We’re so darkened to our need for God that unless He draws us and opens our eyes to the light of Truth, we’ll never believe. (Jeremiah 17:9, Ephesians 1:18)

God’s Spirit must initiate and convict us of our sin and our need for a Savior. (John 16:8) He must awaken our heart to Truth and give us the desire to come to God and to read the Bible. And the faith to believe and be saved.

When the Holy Spirit gives us new life in Christ, we are born again. (John 3:1-21) It is all a work of God. And He is faithful.

Salvation involves:

  • turning away from our sin,
  • turning toward Jesus Christ by grace through faith in His finished work on the cross,
  • believing in your heart that Jesus’ death and resurrection were sufficient to pay the penalty for your sin, and
  • confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord over your life. He has the right to rule you.
  • being made alive and sealed for eternity by the Holy Spirit.

(Romans 10:9-11; Ephesians 2:8-9)

There’s no guilt, shame, or condemnation for anyone in Christ. (Romans 8:1)

He showers mercy and grace upon everyone who trusts in Him. (Hebrews 4:16)

Pray and ask Jesus for the faith to believe and receive His free gift.

There’s No Neutral Option

We aren’t neutral about Christ. If we haven’t accepted Christ’s salvation, we’ve rejected Him and will be separated from Him eternally.

There are only two choices: Christ and eternal life or Not Christ and eternal death. He’s the only way to heaven. The only way to God. The only way to life. (John 14:6)

Some have said it’s arrogant for Christians to say Christ is the only way to the Father, to heaven. But this is an example of the arrogance of the human heart, which sets itself up as God against the True God.

It’s man’s stubborn pride saying, “No one will tell me how to get to heaven. I’ll determine how I get there. I’ll come to God any way I want.” Cain tried it. It didn’t go well for him. (Genesis 4)

There is only one God and only one way to be restored to Him: by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
-Romans 10:9-10 NASB

Saved By Grace Through Faith Alone, Not a Prayer

“Praying the Prayer” isn’t what saves. Anyone can say the words. They’re not magic.

It’s God’s grace through the faith He gives that saves—faith that what you’re praying is Truth, and Jesus really is everything He says He is, and He’s able to save you. That’s what saves you. Not some action. Not some magic words.  

We can’t earn our salvation. We’d have to be perfect, and we missed that before we were even born.

It’s not Christ plus baptism (although baptism is an important next step in acknowledging your faith).

It’s not Christ plus anything. It’s faith in Christ alone.

At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart and adopts you into the Kingdom of God. You’re a child of God and co-heir with Christ. (Romans 8:15, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Romans 8:17)

And when your time on earth is through, you’ll walk right into heaven. (Luke 23:43) AMEN!

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
-Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB

If you’ve accepted God’s gift of salvation, I’d love to hear from you. Or if you have any questions, I’d love to answer them the best I can. Leave me a comment or send me an email.

And check out other posts to help get you started in your life with Christ or answer more questions.

For Further Study

Mark 1:15; John 1:12-13; John 6:40; John 17:6-8; Romans 5:8-10; Romans 8:16-17; Romans 10:9-13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 2 Peter 3:9

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